'Mamak' restaurant operators willing to work with govt on prices

19 Jul 2018 / 00:45 H.

PETALING JAYA: Indian Muslim business owners especially operators of "mamak" restaurants are wiling to work with the government on the matter of prices.
Malaysian Indian Muslim Chamber of Commerce and Industry president (Mimcoin) president, Datuk Syed Jamarulkhan S. Kadir said that it was unfair on the part of the government to say that 30% of "mamak" restaurants in the country had hiked prices following the zero rating of the Goods and Services tax on June 1.
Referring to the statement by Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on July 12 about 30% of "mamak" restaurant hiking up prices whereas the remaining 70% reduced prices, he said this was not correct as it did not cover food operators comprehensively.
"We are giving our full support to the government to monitor prices across the board and not only on food operators and service providers, but cannot understand why "mamak" restaurants were singled out," he told a press conference here today.
Expressing displeasure over the remarks, he said there were some 25,000 "mamak" restarurants in Malaysia which constituted just 10% of the 500,000 food operators in the country.
"Yes there were some 'mamak' restaurants which did not reduce prices even though the GST was zero rated, but singling them out should not have happened," he said.
Asked if they would reduce prices when the Sales and Service Tax comes into force in in September, Syed Jamarulkhan expected the situation to be about the same when GST was implemented.
"The prices of dishes and drinks can come down if electricity tariffs, rental and transport costs come down besides other factors. Consumers must understand about the cost of production.
"'Before we had sugar and flour subsidies and these helped bring costs down but not anymore, so we had to absorb the costs. If the government can give back the subsidies, definitely prices will come down at all restaurants," he added.
"Mamak" restaurants are popular haunts among Malaysians because people of all races can enjoy meals together due the "halal" status. Lately they are also popular joints for football fans, especially followers of the English Premier League because of live telecast of the matches more so with big screens. — Bernama


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